Admiral Pénélope Victoire Jeanne Beaumont, 1st Baronet DCMT GSIC GF SE (born 11 September 3211) is a Franco-Terran spacer career officer of the Space Forces, having served since the 3230s. She is a renowned admiral of the fleet, having participated in important space battles during the Great War and having later served with distinction in defensive military roles in low-intensity conflicts in the Outer Colonies and Banat regions. She was appointed Military Governor of the Banat in 3285.
She is also known as the mother of war hero Field Marshal Céleste Beaumont, Chairperson of the Joint Military Staff since 3275; as well as mother of the lesser-known but highly-decorated war hero Aurora Beaumont.
Early life and education
Born Pénélope Mirabeau to Marie Mirabeau (b. 3180) and Paul Salonniere (b. 3181) at the Naval hospital in Eiden Colony in the Genossen System, she was the second of six children. Her parents had been settled for generations in the Cassiopeian frontier and were descended from French settlers of the Terran inner colonies. Both parents had been 'military brats' from Naval families and had served brief tours of duty in the Terran Imperial Space Navy between 3201 and 3206. They had both grown up together in Eiden Colony and, after their periods of service, married and had children. Pénélope was the second eldest of the children, after Yves-Paul (b. 3209), and was followed by Philippe (b. 3212), Jules (b. 3215), Éponine (b. 3216), and Madeleine (b. 3220). Her youngest sister died very young from a severe fever, and her three brothers joined the Imperial Navy Marine Corps. Yves-Paul and Jules would both die in combat in the Cruxite War, and Philippe would be granted honourable discharge in 3233.
Pénélope was raised in what she described as "strict, traditional Catholic French home" and attended mass regularly twice a week. Both parents enforced military-level discipline on the children, in part because of limited means during their youth. Pénélope attended the all-girls St. Joan of Arc Academy from age 5 to 15, between 3216 and 3226. After matriculating, she attended the Naval Military School at Eiden, a prestigious local secondary education institution and boarding school with a focus on military discipline and training students for future military careers, and entered in the Eiden JROTC program. She attended NMSE until May of 3230, when she enlisted in the Imperial Space Navy.
Pénélope enlisted in the Space Navy on 11 May 3230, and began basic training at the Thebes military depot in June. She underwent training until August, and then began studies at the Thebes Naval Academy. She excelled at her courses and was recommended for transfer by her professors to the Space Academy at Cape Canaveral, Earth. She completed her studies in 3234 at Cape Canaveral and graduated number one in her class, and recommended for spacecraft command. She was commissioned a Lieutenant Junior Grade upon matriculation but was promoted next-day to full Lieutenant.
From 3234 to 3235, she served as an interning deputy to Captain Edith Wilkes, a battlecruiser commander aboard the HMSV Zauberei. Pénélope was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and made executive officer of the Zauberei from 3235 to 3236. In late 3236, she was appointed to command her own vessel, the HMSV Balto, a missile frigate of the 13th Scout Flotilla. While this period of her service overlapped with the Cruxite War, she never saw service in that conflict. She commanded the Balto until 3239, engaging in skirmishes with cassiopeian privateers. She was promoted in 3239 to Commodore and was placed in command of Scout Force 60, a patrol unit based out of Goshen Station in orbit around the gas giant Gesem IV in the Cassiopeian Frontier. She married the Balto's chief medical officer, Daniel J. Beaumont, and took his surname just prior to her promotion to Commodore. She gave birth to her first child, Josephine Madeleine Céleste, the next year in April 3240. In February 3245 she gave birth to her second child, another daughter named Aurora-Marie Anne. She held command of Scout Force 60, and served as deputy to the military commander of Goshen Station, until January 3260. During that time, she had three miscarriages.
Her refusal of certain aspects of modern medical technology was criticised by those close to her. It has been reported by her contemporaries that it may have led to the lack of detection of her eldest daughter's osteogenesis imperfecta and temporal lobe epilepsy until well into the pregnancy, as well as her numerous miscarriages. After the third, in 3258, she ceased trying to have additional children. Her hostility to pre-natal gene therapy is claimed by her critics to stem from her allegedly stern conservatism and religious devotion to the notion of a divine plan for her life. The Admiral has never commented publicly on the matter.
In January 3260, she was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed to command her old unit, the 13th Scout Flotilla.
Middle career and Great War service
From 3260 to 3267, Admiral Beaumont served as the commander of the 13th Scout Flotilla, the mother unit of Scout Force 60. She was tasked with patrolling a portion of the Cassiopeian frontier region, and combating the increasing threat of alien privateers and pirates with ties to the Republic of Cassiopeia. Links between the alien guerillas and domestic terrorists were suspected. As the Great War began in September 3265, the fighting became open between Imperial Naval units and Cassiopeian guerillas. Initially, the war was focused between the ISTO and the Soviet Republic, but this degenerated into a three-way war as negotiations broke down between the communists and the aliens, and the ISTO member states began a campaign to defend its boundaries against militarised alien empires on its frontiers. The Terran Empire launched an incursion of the Republic of Cassiopeia in March 3266, and the 13th Scout Flotilla was mobilised as a forward line unit to gather intelligence on Cassiopeian positions and patrol ahead of the main fleet. Admiral Beaumont commanded the flotilla during the incursion, and was decorated for several victories during the first year of the war. She commanded during combat from aboard the space battleship Molossian.
In February 3267, her victories had earned her fame and renown among the Naval fleet commanders and she was recommended for a personal honour. She and her spacecraft were selected by Emperor Francis Charles XII to serve as the Imperial Flagship for the Emperor's personal command of the Imperial Strike Fleet. She would be promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and given deputy command of the fleet as the Emperor's naval adjutant. This was a great personal honour to the royalist and conservative Admiral Beaumont. The Molossian was redeployed to the Soviet front and participated in over three hundred space combat engagements between March 3267 and May 3268. Throughout her time aboard the Molossian, her husband served as Chief Medical Officer.
During this period, she and Daniel attempted once more to have a child, despite the enormous risks of her giving birth in her late fifties. She conceived sometime in May 3268. However, in early June of that year, the Molossian became engaged in what would be its final battle. Several thousand Soviet spacecraft were gathered at an important jump hub, and the Imperial Strike Fleet mobilised as soon as intelligence indicated this, in order to catch the Soviets off-guard and destroy their fleet in a decapitation strike. However, it turned into an ambush as nearly twice as many Soviet spacecraft as expected were present, overwhelming and outnumbering the Imperial fleet. Admiral Beaumont's capable command of the Imperial flank forces